February 15, 2018 Read at Original Source
For immediate release
February 15, 2018
SACRAMENTO – A broad-based coalition representing local government, business, labor, social justice advocates, community groups, public safety leaders, transportation advocates and taxpayers announced today a new coalition to oppose the initiative aimed at the November 2018 statewide ballot that would repeal the new transportation revenues authorized by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (Senate Bill 1—SB 1). The proposed repeal ballot measure is currently in the signature gathering phase and is being funded by certain Republican politicians. The coalition will also work to gain voter approval of Prop 69 on the June 2018 ballot, the constitutional amendment that will prevent the legislature from borrowing or diverting new transportation funds not already protected.
The coalition (formed by members of the Fix Our Roads coalition) announced it formed a new committee earlier this year, the Coalition to Protect Local Transportation Improvements and vowed to run an aggressive campaign to protect vital transportation investments.
In his State of the State address earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown said: “The funds that SB 1 makes available are absolutely necessary if we are going to maintain our roads and transit systems in good repair. I will do everything in my power to defeat any repeal effort that may make it to the ballot. You can count on that!”
“We are committed to working hard to pass Prop. 69 in June to prevent any diversions of transportation funds so voters have the assurance that all new revenues will be used only for transportation, and go directly to improving their streets and roads,” said Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director, League of California Cities. “At the same time, any efforts to repeal SB 1 will be met with a strong campaign in opposition. Repealing SB 1 will strip from every single community in California funding that will make our roads safer and improve Californian’s quality of life.”
“Eighty-nine percent of California counties have roads that are in poor or at-risk condition and 25% of local bridges show significant deterioration,” said Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building & Construction Trades Council. “This measure would jeopardize public safety by taking away important investments that will make our roads safer. We cannot and will not let partisan politics jeopardize our safety and quality of life.”
In April 2017, California passed the Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB 1) – which will provide more than $5 billion annually to every California community to make road safety improvements, fill potholes, repair local streets, freeways, tunnels, bridges and overpasses and invest in public transportation. Money is split equally between state and local projects and comes with strict accountability provisions to ensure funding is spent efficiently and only on transportation projects. SB 1 took effect on November 1, 2017 and road safety and transportation projects are already underway or planned in every community.
“SB 1 will provide funding to every city, county and transit agency in the state to make vital local road safety and transportation improvements that impact every California motorist,” said Matt Cate, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties. “We will do everything necessary to protect these revenues to deliver safer, less congested roads to the residents our members were elected to represent.”
“Our freeways and major thoroughfares are among the most congested in the nation, and Californians spend too much time stuck in traffic away from family and work,” said Michael Quigley, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Jobs. “This measure would make our traffic worse by repealing funds that are dedicated to reducing congestion.”
“California’s economy demands a reliable transportation system to get people to work, to move goods and services to the market and to support a high quality of life,” said Lucy Dunn, President of the Orange County Business Council and member of the California Transportation Commission. “Unless defeated, this measure will stop thousands of local improvement projects now in progress throughout the state, eliminate thousands of jobs, and profoundly hurt that economy.”
“This measure would rob billions of dollars for improvements in local public transportation that reduce air pollution, enhance mobility for Californians and relieve traffic congestion,” said Joshua W. Shaw, Executive Director of the California Transit Association. “Any way you look at it, it’s a bad deal for California.”
The Coalition to Protect Local Transportation Improvements will educate voters in coming months about the importance of supporting Prop 69 and opposing any efforts to repeal SB 1.